NEW DELHI: Taking cue from political developments in Maharashtra, BJP’s smaller allies are mounting pressure on the party to cede space in poll-bound Jharkhand.
Even while the BJP has released its first list of candidates for Jharkhand, the party is yet to ink the seat adjustment pact with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
BJP president Amit Shah and vice-president Om Mathur patiently heard AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto late Sunday night.
“The BJP chief has so far cleared only two seats, Lohardaga and Hussainabad, on which AJSU’s candidates can file nominations. The leadership of the two parties will meet again to discuss remaining claims of the AJSU,” said a senior BJP functionary.
The AJSU has staked claim on 17 Assembly seats while the party had managed to get only eight constituencies in the pre-poll alliance for the 2014 Assembly elections. The AJSU had won five seats last time while the BJP had bagged 37.
Sources said the BJP ceded Lohardagga seat despite the party having made up its mind to field one of the recent turncoat MLAs from the constituency.
“In the beginning the AJSU had staked claims on 25 Assembly seats, which its later scaling down to 17. The party cannot be given so many seats. In a couple of days, the seat adjustment will be finally inked,” added the BJP functionary.
After the BJP’s tallest Kurmi leader in the state Ram Tahal Choudhary, who represented the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat on four ocassions, rebelled following the saffron outfit denying him re-nomination in the 2019 elections, theparty is counting on AJSU to gain the Kurmi votes.
Yet, the BJP is apparently unwilling to cede more than 11 Assembly seats to the AJSU because it will have to drop a few more of its own key leaders.
Lok Jan Shakti Party chief Chirag Paswan is also learnt to have knocked at the BJP’s doors to seek a few seats and become part of the pre-poll alliance.
“Paswan was told that he should talk to the BJP chief for seat adjustment in Jharkhand. The LJPhas no base in the state to be part of the alliance,” noted the senior BJP functionary.
AJSU names 12 candidates, 4 against BJP
AJSU on Monday announced its first list of 12 candidates, in the wake of the BJP releasing its list of 52 candidates on Sunday. AJSU spokesperson Deo Sharan Bhagat said the party would never compromise with the self-respect of its workers.
AJSU list includes names of contestants on 4 seats where BJP has also announced its candidates.
Congress announces its third list
The Congress on Monday announced its third list of 19 candidates, taking the total number of nominees to 25.
Among those fielded are Alamgir Alam from Pakur, Irfan Ansari from Jamtara, RCP Mehta from Hazaribagh, Sanjay Singh from Bokaro and Mannan Mallick from Dhanbad. The party had released two lists on Sunday.